Let’s say you are getting ready to kick-off an email campaign and that you plan to use landing pages- those web pages to which visitors are sent when they click on your email links. You may be thinking that creating those pages is a project for your Information Technology or Graphic Arts departments. While those skilled and talented people will likely be involved with the technical and creative elements of landing page creation, how best to optimize those pages is a critical component of Internet marketing efforts. The more successfully marketers optimize their landing pages, the more likely they will be to increase their prospect lead pool and boost student conversion.
Here are seven considerations for optimizing your landing pages to help capture and convert:
Create Readable URL’s that will reinforce your brand. Recognition of your URL creates trustworthiness of the link as well as the ability of the prospect to remember who you are.
Repeating your Offer in your landing page will reinforce the call to action. If your intent is to get readers to reply to an open house invitation, then make sure your landing page gives the visitor more information about the Open House and doesn’t tell them about some unrelated program or event.
Craft your landing page with a goal in mind. Is your goal to collect relevant information? Are you asking the prospect to attend a specific event? Perhaps it is to request specific information? Create web forms that ask for relevant information on the landing page and be clear why you’re asking for this.
Position your landing page so that it is a continuation of the original email campaign. As a best practice, avoid sending your prospects to your home page. Instead, send them to a page that is specific to your email campaign. And when they get to that page, limit the number of links offered to them so you keep your visitor’s focus. Otherwise, they may go off course and lose sight of the call to action. For example, if the original email was designed to peak interest for an upcoming continuing education program, when they click on the link in your email, the prospect should go directly to a page that has more information about your continuing education program and not about some other topic. Links on that continuing education page should be to additional relevant information and action items.
Design for Conversion by creating strong brand messaging that resonates from your email campaign to your landing pages. Keep the same look, feel and tone from the original email campaign to the landing page. Also, keep critical elements on the top and calls-to-action "above the fold", in other words, so visitors do not have to scroll down to read the content.
K.I.S.S.- keep your message simple: short sentences, short paragraphs. Copy should be easy to read and relevant to the original email. According to Tim Ash, author of Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions, you have less than 10 seconds to capture your prospect’s attention. How will you do it?
Test Your Landing Pages. Just as testing email subject lines is important, landing page copy and design should be tested as well. Marketing Sherpa found that marketers rate landing page testing as highly productive and beneficial (Note 1). One-quarter of marketers who test landing page results say they achieve “significant” improvement in conversion rates. (Note 2)
Build brand strength and increase conversion by optimizing your landing pages.
Landing Page Optimization for Dummies
Landing Page Optimization- The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions by Tim Ash
Landing Page 101: Learn the Top 100 Tips to Landing Pages by James Moore
Note 1: Email Marketing Benchmark Guide, Marketing Sherpa, 2007
Note 2: Marketing Sherpa Survey, 2004